About Dennis Sowards

sowardsDennis Sowards, President
Quality Support Services, Inc.

Author of over 50 articles and publications on Lean Construction

Dennis Sowards is an industry consultant and author of the research book Thinking Lean – Tools for Decreasing Costs and Increasing Profits,
funded and published by the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association-affiliated New Horizons Foundation.

Recognized speaker, trainer and Lean Coach

 My Mission is to Help organizations deliver World-Class Performance to their Customers by improving the Quality of how they manage.

Dennis Sowards on the job site!

Dennis Sowards on the job site!


  • Over 35 years working with managers to improve quality and productivity performance
  • Over 20 years improving quality and applying Lean in the Construction Industry


  • 5S and Lean Production
  • Total Quality Management (TQM)
  • Vision/Strategy Facilitation
  • Process Improvement and Root Cause Analysis
  • Customer and Employee Loyalty Measurement
  • Executive Scorecard


With over 30 years of senior level experience with a record of achievement in Continuous Improvement, Total Quality Management, Industrial Engineering, and Management Consulting. Dennis Sowards strengths include proven leadership and technical analysis in problem solving, measurement and group facilitation. As Manager of Continuous Improvement and Communications for KINETICS, Sowards was responsible for implementing improvement initiatives including Lean Construction, 5S’s, and training in root cause analysis. As Quality Manager for J B Rodgers Mechanical Contractors he was responsible for all quality improvement initiatives and training, strategic planning facilitation and leading the Motorola’s Quality Systems Review (QSR). As the founding Executive Director of the Arizona Quality Alliance he developed and implemented services to assist organizations in implementing the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award performance excellence criteria. As manager of Quality & Productivity Consulting with the Salt River Project in Phoenix, AZ he was responsible for quality improvement programs, management consulting, and Industrial Engineering studies including supervised operations analysis studies, upgrading the company’s suggestion program.

Author and Presenter

       Click here for a complete list of SNIPS eNewsletter Articles by Dennis Sowards 

Download a copy of Dennis’ latest article: Using lean manufacturing to improve shop productivity published in the August 2017 issue of Contractor Magazine.

  • How to implement lean manufacturing at ductwork fabrication shops, SNIPS Magazine, July 18, 2017
  • 50 ways to remove excess work from your sheet metal shopSNIPS eNewsletter, March 29, 2017
  • Five ways to improve ductwork fabrication, SNIPS eNewsletter, December 7, 2016
  • BIM and lean construction work best in tandemSNIPS eNewsletter, May, 2015
  • Quality is key for Lean’s success, Contractor Magazine, May 2013
  • The Lean Construction Pocket Guide, Quality Support Services, 2012
  • Mistakes Happen. Working to prevent errors in construction, SNIPS eNewsletter, September 30, 2012
  • 5 Steps one must do to start being Lean, Contractor Magazine, Oct 2011
  • Lean Principles Based on Kaizen Blitz, SMACNA 2010 National Convention
  • Lean Applied to Construction and Lean in Service at National PHCC 2010 Convention
  • Lean Applied to the BIM process, AGC BIMForm – June 2010
  • Hold the line: Solid communications are required for Lean Success, SNIPS, Dec. 2009
  • Aligning your processes for lean initiatives, SNIPS, October 2009
  • Working Out – Getting your fabrication shop Lean and Fit, SNIPS, June 2009
  • Lean Implementation – “Lean & Mean” – SNIPS Magazine, March 2009
  • Muda Walk to find waste, Contractor Magazine, Oct. 2008
  • Manufacturers Need to Look at Lean Construction, IndustryWeek Magazine, May 5, 2008
  • Implementing Lean In The Service World, Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine, May 1, 2008
  • Lean Construction: New Tools and Old Combine to reduce Waste, Quality Digest, Nov. 2007
  • Thinking Lean – Tools for Decreasing Costs and Increasing Profits, New Horizon Foundation, 2008
  • Creating the High-Performing Contracting Company, SMACNA, 2006
  • Waste is Everywhere but isn’t Inevitable, Contractor Magazine  Part 1 – Dec. 2005, Part 2 – Jan. 2006
  • 5S’s that would make any CEO Happy, Contractor Magazine, June 2004
  • Lean Applied to Construction, Construction Contractor’s Alliance Summit, Oct. 2005
  • When Worlds Collide: Managing Duct Manufacturing and a Job Shop Under the Same Roof , SMACNA


MBA, Operations Research and Management Science, Arizona State University
BSE, Engineering Services (Industrial Engineering), Arizona State University

Lean Techniques that Dennis trains and coaches companies to use

  • Five S’s, Last Planner System®, Value Stream Mapping, and other Lean tools such as:
    • Kaizen Events
    • Kanban
    • Muda Walks
    • Rules of Release
    • Spaghetti Chart / Visual Controls
  • Vision and Strategy Planning Facilitation
  • Process Improvement and Root Cause Analysis
  • Executive Scorecard and KPIs
  • Total Quality Management (TQM)

Hi Dennis. I can’t thank you enough for doing such a splendid job presenting the Lean training to me the Harder and JBH folks.  It is a tough deal to keep our folks attention from 4-8 in the evenings period.  I remember my apprenticeship days and in NM we went to school two nights a week four hours each evening.  I recall how hard it was to stay focused on the trainers presentation due to fatigue from working hard each day and the lack of presentation skills of the trainer.  You make learning fun and so interesting that your students stay focused on every word not because they have to but because what you have to say means something to us.  Bravo on your skills and hat’s off to you bringing Troy along as he is motivate to train and will get more polished over time.

We are better as a result of your ability to make the subject matter interesting and being there to listen to whatever questions are asked.  That is so hard to do especially when we appreciate the fact that your day is extended just as our is.

Thank you!!!!

See Quality Support Services Website with article archives and Lean Information here